Friends With Benefits: Can You Really Handle It?

July 15, 2011  |  

You laugh and joke like old friends. Your dates are far and few, but your sexual encounters are the driving force behind your relationship. You like him, he likes you; but you’re far from committed to each other. You’ve affectionately referred to him as your ‘friend with benefits’; but how long before your needs require more than just massaging kisses? Can you handle indefinitely being only ‘friends with benefits’?

No matter how you sugar coat the title or justify the reasons, friends with benefits simply means you’re not in a committed relationship but you have a commitment of ‘getting it in’ with a certain friend. Maybe you go out on dates sporadically. Maybe the two of you haven’t been seen in the light of day together; whatever the situation, the lack of commitment or even the possibility of attempting a relationship is the farthest thing from the core of this situation.

Men and women both have physical wants that are sometimes confused with needs; but it’s been argued (and even factually proven in many cases) that women are more emotional creatures than men. Men love the physical part of a relationship. While women may enjoy the physical benefits of having a man, the emotional needs are just as prevalent. So can a woman really handle just being a friend with benefits? And if so, for how long?

I’m prone to believe through experience and talking to various women, that when you don’t want to be in a committed relationship with a man, your attitude is a lot more nonchalant. Your attitude is care-free because, well, you really don’t care. Maybe you really want to be only friends and the ‘benefit’ part is just as beneficial to you as it is to him (if that’s your thing); but what about a man that you genuinely have feelings for and could see yourself being in a relationship with? The two of you frequently talk, but you also frequently..ahem, do the ‘grown up’. Initially it may be okay, but after a while your emotions start to kick in and that extra ‘benefit’ begins to seem more one-sided than mutual.

Most people argue that a woman eventually grows emotionally fond of a man after a few sexual encounters. If this is the case, then how long can she remain a friend with benefits without the relationship suffering?

The thing is most times ‘friends with benefits’ is not the initial goal of the relationship for women. Somehow it just ends that way; but after realizing that you are considered a ‘friend with benefits’, carefully assess if, or how long, you can be cool with such a title. While women are greatly similar, we’re still quite different. What works for one woman may not work for another. Some women require commitment with sex, others don’t; but while these attitudes may differ, there is one thing that all women can probably agree on: if you are really into a man and want to be with him, you don’t want to just settle as being a ‘friend with benefits’.

Mesdames, do you think you can really handle being a ‘friend with benefits’? Is it even a title you wish to have?

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  • RoCo

    Was in a relationship with a man going thru a divorce. Then he got stressed out and suggested we lay low and do the FWB thing. I told him no, so we agreed to abstain and just be friends. After a while we couldn’t help ourselves. A year later he’s still going to court for the divorce and now he wants to go back to FWB. Honestly I am tired of the roller coaster but I hold genuine feelings for him. But NOW hes back and forth about FWB and is talking smack about sowing his royal oats before we have a REAL relationship. Now I’m confused as to where things stand between us and I wish I was smart enough not to agree to FWB from the first time around. He says he loves me and cares for me and talks about a future with me but needs to sow his royal oats first. I told him that I’m not a 7/11. So in short, don’t go backwards from a relationship to FWB! IF WE had started
    as FWB from the get go I don’t think id be feeli so attached. Once you catch feelings for someome its hard to turn back…..
    SO in my opinion, in general. …
    FWB is very possible if both parties agree to the situation and they both have feelings to that of a dead fish.
    Carry on….

  • anonymous

    what do u think of when both are married? and if I say he misses me, he will say it back, but very clear on no emotional attachment with me yet there’s passion. we both do not want to change the situation, but do want to continue. such a crazy thing to explain.

  • As much as I hate to admit it, I have been with quite a few men for my young age of 21. One thing I will say is that I’ve learned how to work with the Friends With Benefits. Even though I’ve been with quite a few, 90% were not FWB, but more just hookups. The 10% was so/so. For example, one guy I met. We seemed to get along and agreed that it was just sex. I began to feel emotions but I just blocked it out. It ended because despite us actually getting along we just lost the vibe. So, I am not really cool with FWB. The only way I’d consider a FWB is if it were with a same sex person (another topic), because women are simply different. Other than that, with men, I don’t deal with it. 

  • BellaB

    Been in one for the last 13 years. Every few years or so we'll talk about taking it up a notch then one or the other of us will back out. So far we've both admitted to each other that we love each other but are not IN love with each other. He's walked me down the aisle & I've nursed him through heartbreak, but it's not easy. There were years when I swore he was the only one for me & I've was his exclusive b-buddy. But now our friendship settle down like and comfortable, but the passion hasn't dimmed one bit. Thank God.

    • Rednecfroggie

      I don’t believe in being in luv. I belive luv grows more deeply over time. I’ve been involved with my FWBs for over 7yrs. Our passion like yours hasn’t dimmed. I almost feel like we both luv each other but are both so afraid to commit. In fear that our relationship would end completely. I read all these articles about how men look at their FWBs as someone who is not relationship worthy. Like I said I don’t see it as that. I see two scared people & I hate that I am that way.

    • Rednecfroggie

      I don’t believe in being in luv. I belive luv grows more deeply over time. I’ve been involved with my FWBs for over 7yrs. Our passion like yours hasn’t dimmed. I almost feel like we both luv each other but are both so afraid to commit. In fear that our relationship would end completely. I read all these articles about how men look at their FWBs as someone who is not relationship worthy. Like I said I don’t see it as that. I see two scared people & I hate that I am that way.

  • Justyou

    I believe that a woman is capable of carrying on a friend with benefits relationship without wanting anything more or becoming emotionally attached to her partner. Exhibit A: me. I have had a friend with benefits for about 4 years now. We both have our own separate lives and have gone on a few dates/outtings together. I've never cared to hold his hand in public nor do I get bothered when other women approach him and give me the 'stink eye'. He is a wonderful man. Polite, well spoken, ambitious- basically most of the things a woman would want in a man. Fortunately for me, I am able to have umemotional encounters with him, and not want anything else other than our friendship and the benefits of it. I adore him as my friend and I rather enjoy our adult moments.

    • Yes!

      Thank you!

  • krispy

    I have a friend w benefits. It has been going on for a yr now. I can say we both are emotionally attached to each other. We started out seeing each other once a week, then that changed to twice a week. It escalated from there. We are not in a relationship and have never discussed a relationship. We enjoy each other's company when we get together. We often hang out at either his place or mine sometimes to have sex, and other times just being with one another. I have noticed that we both have pulled away from each other because we "both" were bitten by the emotional bug. We still spend time with each other just not as often. I like what we have and wouldn't change it.

    • Bellab

      I feel you.

    • jason

      sounds like your in a relationship…. but not because you two don’t want to talk about it. the time will come when one of you finds better and then that person will leave for something deemed better and the other is going to wonder what happen. Again, selling yourself short is what it all comes down to….. that FWB.

  • ilovememore

    If you are sleeping with a person on my occasions, feelings are bound to develop..Its called human nature. Whether people want to admit it, or not..It is what it is.. I can understand A one night stand, but sleeping with someone more than once, and laying up with them, is a relationship.. Its an open relationship. Men and Women are jealous creatures, and though many people want to front, certain things may bother them, but they cant say anything because they arent commited… Im speaking from experience.

  • I've tried it..someone always wants my last quasi-relationship (cuz that's exactly what it is) I tried to set boundaries from the beginning where I was allowed to see other men but he got all quiet as soon as I said that. I mistook that to mean that he possibly wanted to get serious but he just wanted to have his damn cake and eat it. He's choking on it right now. I've moved on to something more fulfilling.

  • Brodie

    If your doin it you ain't friends.

  • N B

    I can absolutely stay in the FWB situation. First of all, whoever I'm FWB'ing with, he's not someone I want as a boyfriend – he's expendable0. There won't be any chance of falling for him. As for guys I like, I don't go for an FWB thing, b/c that's not what I want. It's all about being a grown up and making the appropriate choices based on what you want vs. what you can get. Settling for FWB when you want a BF is just plain stupid.

    • I agree with N B. The key to keeping expectations realistic in a FWB situation is to choose a guy you would not want to have as a boyfriend. If you think its at all possible you would want something more, then don't start an FWB situation. Periodically remind yourself why this guy would not make a suitable boyfriend. Just so you don't find yourself drifting off into fantasy land.

      • Anonguest

        Guys like me have not gotten any chicks and have been trying to years to learn how to not be “nice guys” so we can shag chicks like you, rather than just being alone. If girls are always choosing flawed pricks as the only ones who have an opportunity to have sex, then us guys have to pretend to be…flawed pricks.

    • Jason

      Absolutely agree! There are to many things written about this but never mention FWB this way.

  • It's great if that is all you want. You still have to choose someone who is right for your needs. Choosing someone who refers to you as "slide" when what you really want is a "lover" can end up with hurt feelings. Be clear with yourself and you have to be strong enough to let it go if things change for you but not him. Otherwise, you'll just be torturing yourself with something you want but can't have.

  • LizaB

    You're so right…it is fun at first. When you have natural chemistry what starts of as fun and empowering turns into feeling like your being taken advantage of. I have the hardest time accepting how easy it is for a man, one who I have known for over a decade to separate sex from emotions. No, we haven't been in the FWB zone for that long but I agree with you all or nothing

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  • KRJ

    I dont think this is cool because someone will get hurt in the end. Its really funny how women can say they can do this and men say they can do this but in the end someone will lose. if you can sleep with someone with no emotions then why do it. this person is suppose to be your friend that you spend time with and talk with about life issues with each other, do really want to heare how his other bfwb is doing. and lets not forget about AIDS and other things that can happen playing around like this. because everyone know the safest way is to keep it in your pants for both parties. SO LETS LEARN A LIL FROM TREY SONGZ…AND LETS NOT SING THE SONG~ I WISH WE NEVER DID IT! STAY FRIENDS…

  • megan

    surel i like to call it "cutt" buddies. sometimes a woman does not want a relationship. those things are difficult and often, one gets hurt. so lets say that a woman is not ready to put herself out there emotionally, but runs into a man that she finds attractive and whom she is able to kick it with. if she is able to just do the do with ol buddy, and hes cool with it, why not take advantage of the situation? women are capable of this! it does not make her heartless or cold or unemotional. rather, she just understands that she wants to have sex and if both parties are willing and safe about it, i say go for it!

  • Nope, won't be easy. Even if you feel comfortable with someone, it may be difficult to keep your emotions in check in the long term. Starting to develop feelings and emotions can become quite possible after a few steamy sessions.

  • Josie

    its completely possible, as long as both parties continue to want the same things… the relationship im in now began that way. he and i have been inseparable since the day we met. it didnt take long for us to get closer and eventually fall in love, and we celebrate our four year anniversary this week with a baby on the way soooooooo lol, obviously i wasnt the only one that caught feelings :)…. but it is possible. there are girls out there who can romp with the best of the boys and not spit on em if they were on fire

  • enlightenmeplz

    I think that it is possible…as stated in the article everyone is different. You have to set your boundaries, have mutual respect for one another, and be very open with those things that we non verbally communicate. Also being honest with yourself about your intentions. Don't go into it thinking that you are going to change the other person or even having a unrealistic exception. If you going into a FWB situation knowing that your want a committed relationship than you are setting yourself up for failure. If the FWB is not for you then don't pretend and do it anyways because you have a "longing" … you only end up hurting yourself. I have had those type of friendships and felt good about them. Even after the benefit part was over we still remained close friends. Your emotions are not meant to control you but rather an indicator of where you are. I think that is where a lot of women get things mixed. All relationships are relative meaning that to each and everyone of us will have a different experience. I say enjoy those in your life if you choose.

  • Tamar

    There shouldnt be a problem with being in a FWB relationship as long as everyone knows their positon and no one crosses the line.

  • Zhanae

    The whole fwb thing can work but I do feel that one person will catch feelings for the other. Women now a days are just unemotional as men (sad to say) and truthfully men are just as sensitive as women these days. I think that type of relationship can work if you set rules in the very beginning. You have to just keep in mind that it is only sex. When that starts to be in the back of your mind get out before you get too deep.

    • revel

      True that there are some unemotional women and some sensitive men out there.

  • Afterthekiss

    I am currently in this exact situation. I have been fwb with this dude for 3 months now, we’ve known of each other for about 7 months! This is a very complicated “relationship” thus far because we are also church members and roommates. We have excellent chemistry together, we flirt, we laugh, we go out together, he listens, I listen…the whole 9!! The sex in itself is by far the best. I feel we do have a relationship, an unspoken one if you will. However, knowing when and how to separate sex from emotions during your fwb is critical! U def have to know the fine line between sex and making love, establish rules from jump and stick with em, follow ur head and NOT ur heart, and always be safe and protect yourself from the many diseases out there. Also be wary of how you handle people and their emotions…both men and women are liable of catching feelns and not everybody can control theirs

    • GetReal

      If yall are "church members" and find it morally ok to even have a FWB maybe you need to find a different Wow.

      • Josie

        WHHOOOOOO PREACH LOL!!!! its HILARIOUS what goes on in the church these days. if you're not there to worship god and and pray that you can lead a god fearing life what exactly are you there for? 0_o

    • tkb

      you feel you have an unspoken relationship?? ok, how are you going to feel when he cuts you off and starts up a real relationship with someone else? if

    • jason

      So here is the thing that gets me. if you both like each other and you feel likes it’s a relationship then why don’t you call it one? Going into a FWB situation then trying to turn it into a relationship is a very bad idea. It’s selling yourself short. What happens is somebody will feel one way and the other will not feel the same way. as the saying goes…”Why buy the cow, when the milk is for free”.

  • Sheena

    If it’s just sex and not spending time with that person going out, cuddling afterwards, confiding into each other, etc

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  • hoohoo

    Ive been in one of theses before it was great while it lasted Buhh his girlfriend got into it and will never leave him alone…. Buhh I’m in another one now and we’ve been friends since we were baby’s .. is this Funna be a problem?. I mean we could be in a relationship Buhh we dnt want to commit its to hard for us ..

  • Queencoca

    Not possible. Someone is always going to want more. If you have a situation like this set a time limit i.e. 90 days… otherwise it will become an emotional dumping ground. Stay friends or get the whole thing.

  • Prissy

    THIS is the BEST comment I have ever read!! YOU are so right on this one!

  • LiaLouis

    its always a bad idea to be in a friends with benefit situation because there is always someone who ends up getting hurt… been there, done that, Biggest mistake of my life !

    • Ms Peach

      agreed! Im trying to get over the heartbreak right now! Well we were only FWB because he has a GF! SMH! Biggest mistake of my life getting wrapped up in him. This is the last time.

  • Prissy

    Coming from experience.. These are the types of situations I have been in because I have a fear of intimacy and commitment. NOT because I eventually don't want to be in one… but I was traumatized a few years back during one, I'd rather not deal with the emotional sides of things. It just annoys me now when men feel you MUST have feelings for them than what you actually do. If you set boundaries from the beginning… everything should be fine.

  • L-Boogie


    • Ericka

      I definitely agree with this!From experience I only lasted a little while before I completely broke down and told the guy how I felt. He wasn't ready for a commitment and as of right now we dont talk. I felt bad because I was raised that your suppose to be in a loving relationship before you do these things, but Im in college and I got caught up. Well I learned my lesson